DRAMA! Everyone's a Critic: Book Review

By dykehalo

With most series, I find the second book usually isn't quite as good as the first. But with Paul Ruditis's DRAMA! series, that is not the case. Everyone's A Critic is definitely better than the first book.

The characters are exactly the same as before: Bryan the gay guy; Hope the goth; Sam the poor over-achiever; Alexis and Belinda the evil step-sisters; and Holly the evildoer.

The school year has ended but, at Orion, school doesn't end when summer begins, a mandatory two-week theatre camp for all drama majors makes the school year last a little longer. Normally they put on a play, do a few acting drills and help the soccer players. This year Hartley Blackstone, a famous Broadway director, is using these two weeks as an audition for his summer apprenticeship, which would mean some of the best actor training available and having many doors opened for the future. The catch is there are only two spots available: one male and one female.

The first week, everyone works on individual monologues and performs them in front of Mr. Blackstone. When they are not up to his expectations, he expresses his disappointment by critiquing their performances with no mercy. After getting their hearts crushed, it looks like no one will be able to get back on the stage and perform one more time to try and win a place in the summer program.

In the midst of the audition stress, Hope breaks up with her boyfriend which sends Bryan and Sam into a panic about her new attitude towards life, boys and acting. They come up with a scheme to get Hope and her boyfriend back together. The second week is group performances, but will Bryan and Sam's plan take away too much time from working on their scene?

Although this book was better then the last, it still needed something more. I like to feel connected to the characters but, in this book, all the characters could die in a horrific accident and I wouldn't care. I was impressed with the modernism of this book; mentioning hit shows like American Idol. However, in the long run that could prove to be a bad thing when those shows eventually die and fade away.

I was also glad to see that Bryan's sexuality was mentioned more but I feel that in order to truly make it fit under the category of GLBT literature something more has to happen with his sexuality or there needs to be some larger discussion.

Overall, the book is a good pre-teen to teen easy-read novel with a little bit of GLBT thrown in.